Thursday 29 November 2012

Winter's here!

Not much news from the garden during the last couple of weeks. We've had days of torrential rain when it's been too wet and depressing to do much outside except clear drains. Now we've had a spell of very cold and clear days. The frost has not cleared from the lawn at the back of the house.

The trees have shed all their leaves and are looking dark and dramatic against the grey/blue sky. Paul raked up 8 barrows of leaves from the lawn to give the grass some light and prevent it dying.

There's a huge amount of tidying to do, pruning, weeding, digging over the veg plots and spreading compost. But it will have to wait for more clement weather. Despite the weather the first hellebore flowers are appearing!

We have a stream that runs when the water table gets high and goes through various – intended – waterfalls and ponds but ends up in an unintended water feature just outside our back door. I think we should make it permanent with some fish and build a little bridge across like you see in fancy houses on films! But I’ll probably just keep my wellies by the back door…

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes

Managed to get a couple of hours in the garden this weekend. The last couple of weeks I've been glued to the computer screen with work and in any case the weather has been grey and damp. Sunday was a lovely day - frosty first thing but sunny and warm during the day.
I cleared out most of the tomatoes in the greenhouse. The stems and leaves were going brown and collapsing so the fruit were not going to get much bigger. I harvested about 5 pounds of green tomatoes. They will ripen on the kitchen window sill. But I've always wanted to try fried green tomatoes. I researched a few recipes and went for this:

1lb of green tomatoes
2 eggs
100gms polenta
Salt & pepper to taste
Rape seed oil or butter to fry

Cut the tomatoes into slices 1/4 inch thick
Break eggs into a small bow and whisk up with salt and pepper
Spread the polenta on a large plate
Dip the tomato slices in the egg and then coat in the polenta.
Shallow fry for a few minutes and turn over and do the same so they are golden on both sides and slightly soft. Do in batches and keep hot in oven.
Enjoy. We had them with cold pork from Sunday roast and the verdict was "Good!"   

I think they could be improved with a pinch of chilli powder or other spice mixed with the polenta. And maybe could try with wholemeal flour or breadbrumbs.